Exposed: Segun Agbaje, His Sit-tight Syndrome In GTB, As CBN Keeps Mute

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…average of 25 staff quit on monthly basis, says official

Fresh revelations have emerged on how the Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Mr Segun Agbaje, has continued to perpetuate himself in office after the expiration of his tenure according to the Central Bank of Nigeria Prudential Guidelines.

Investigation by this medium indicated that Agbaje became the Acting MD/CEO of GTB in April 2011, in which by the provision of CBN’s prudential guidelines as reviewed in 2019, he ceases to be the helmsman of the bank by April 2021.

Schedule 4.01 of the CBN Guidelines for Tenure of Managing Directors of Deposit Money Banks and Related Matters under Corporate Governance, as reviewed in 2019 stipulates that:

“In order to ensure both continuity and injection of fresh ideas, tenures
shall apply to the positions of Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Non-Executive Director (NED) and External Auditors. The following rules shall apply to the tenured positions:
(a) A CEO of a bank shall serve for a maximum tenure of 10 years.
(b) A NED shall not remain on the board of a bank continuously for
more than 3 terms of 4 years each, i.e. 12 years.
(c) The tenure of external auditors in a given bank shall be for a
maximum period of ten years from date of appointment after
which the audit firm shall not be reappointed in the bank until after
another 10 years.
(d) In determining the length of period service of a CEO, any period
served in acting capacity shall be deemed to have formed part
of the period of his/her service as the CEO.
(e) For all tenured positions affected by merger/acquisition/take-over
or any form of combination, the length of service shall include
both the periods served pre-and post the combination”.

It was further revealed that in his bid to unprecedentedly change the structure of the bank and destroy tenure arrangement to his advantage with impunity, Agbaje refused to appoint Deputy Managing Director after the last DMD left, against the tradition of hierarchy in every commercial bank, purposely to block the laid down process of succession, and arbitrarily restructure the pattern of arrangement in the bank to pave way for him in becoming the head of GTB Holdings with several MDs under him.

However, the CBN’s prudential guidelines in schedule 4.02 under Cooling Off Period states that :

“Any person who has served as CEO in a bank shall not qualify for
appointment in that bank or its subsidiaries in any capacity until
after a period of 3 years after the expiration of his tenure as CEO.
If appointed, he/she shall only serve as a non-executive director.
(b) Where an executive director exits his/her position in the bank, such
a person shall not be eligible for appointment as a non-executive
director until after a period of three years.
(c) Banks shall reflect the provisions of these guidelines in the terms of
engagement of their CEOs, executive directors, NEDs and
external auditors”.

Meanwhile, Agbaje has been accused of different atrocities since his emergence as MD/CEO of the bank, ranging from staff redundancy, poor staff welfare, rigid policy, indiscriminate sack of qualified ED’s among others.

A top official of the bank at its headquarters in Lagos, who craved anonymity said the tenure of Agbaje has been characterized with policies and gimmicks that are antithetical to bank corporate governance.

He added that an average of 25 staff resign from the bank on monthly basis, saying that the bank has lost almost a thousand of its staff in the last three years.

”It is disheartening that the CBN, which remains the only regulatory agency for commercial banks in Nigeria has been silent all this while despite the gross misconduct and great atrocities Mr Segun Agbaje has committed.

”How could someone be flouting guidelines of CBN in this manner and nobody is challenging him or calling him to order, the CBN has kept mute all this while thereby putting the bank at a great risk if something is not done fast as a matter of exigency”, the source exclaimed.

All efforts to get reactions from Mr Segun Agbaje and the CBN practically proved abortive as none of them was available as at the time of filling this report.


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